What is better living: An apartment or a house?

4 Jul 2016

What's your Australian dream? When you close your eyes and go to sleep at night, are you dreaming of a luxurious standalone house with a sprawling lawn? Or are your thoughts preoccupied with a fancy apartment, the kind you usually see in your favourite sitcom?

A recent McCrindle report noted that two thirds of all new housing approvals in Australia are situated in Melbourne and Sydney. That means our part of the country is going to see a huge number of new homes for sale soon – so when you head out to buy, will you look for a house or a unit? Let's look at the benefits of each.

Will the scales tip in favour of units or houses?Will the scales tip in favour of units or houses?

Considering the apartment

There are two huge benefits of apartments that houses cannot match – entry price point and location. With the Housing Industry Association reporting an unprecedented spike in unit construction across the country, many central city locales will see even more apartments come through the pipeline.

There are two huge benefits of apartments that houses cannot match.

CoreLogic RP Data monthly indices for the end of May also show Melbourne's median unit value at $525,800 – significantly lower than the figure for houses, which was $845,650.

With the capacity to buy cheaper real estate in more central areas, apartments offer convenience that houses generally can't match – but let's not discount the bigger homes just yet.

As safe as houses

While houses are more expensive in general, they also have many benefits that units do not offer. For one thing, the space you get with a house can't be beat. On top of this, many apartments will be part of a strata scheme, which means further fees and regulations to adhere to. When you own a house, the entire property is yours.

And even though you will be responsible for all of the house maintenance yourself, you are the lord of your domain – no owners' corporation to answer to.

So which do you want?

At the end of it all, the type of property that fits you best is going to depend on your lifestyle – not to mention budget. Do you want to live in the heart of the city, a quick walk to work and near your favourite cafes and venues? Or would you prefer a bit of distance from the city, and a quieter place to call your own? 

Close your eyes, have a sleep on it – everyone's property dream is going to be different!